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Game-Time reports/The EU DMA Act, which was implemented this year, can be said to be one of the most concerned regulatory measures in the industry. Apple has also launched new iOS application regulations for it in the EU, which has attracted “condemnation” from European and American developers. Despite many restrictions, Epic is still determined to launch EGS on iOS in the EU.

Recently, Japan has also introduced a bill similar to the EU DMA. On June 12, the “Specified Smartphone Software Competition Promotion Act” submitted by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) was passed by the Japanese Senate. Similar to the DMA, the bill aims to create a fully competitive environment while ensuring the security of software required for smartphone use.

The “Act to Promote Competition in Specific Smartphone Software” mainly contains six provisions, the most important of which is the first one. For example, it stipulates:

1) Designated suppliers shall not block third-party app stores (but shall not force the download of programs directly from the website); 2) Designated suppliers shall not prevent app developers from using third-party payment systems; 3) Designated suppliers shall not restrict app developers from displaying information such as website item pricing or website item links; 4) Designated providers shall not unfairly discriminate against or treat app developers unfairly in the transaction and usage conditions of operating systems and application stores.

Unlike the DMA which has already been implemented, this bill will be officially implemented within one and a half years after its promulgation.

Judging from the specific content, Japan’s “Act to Promote Competition in Certain Smartphone Software” is basically a copy of the EU DMA, and it also leaves a year and a half for designated suppliers and app developers to participate in discussions. According to the current trend, Apple is likely to directly copy the new rules of the EU market in the Japanese market, raising the threshold for third-party stores by increasing the download fees of the App Store.

According to Apple’s new EU regulations, third-party stores must use Apple’s MarketplaceKit framework and API to create corresponding iOS market applications, and must also provide company websites and servers. Third-party stores can only be installed through their own official website links, not through the App Store.

At the same time, third-party market suppliers need to apply for authorization from Apple, join the Apple Developer Program, and provide a standby letter of credit. In addition, each download of a third-party store app requires Apple to pay a 0.5 euro CTF fee.

So, who will benefit from this bill after it is enacted?

At present, Sony is the most likely company to launch a third-party app store in the Japanese market. Sony itself has already invested in the mobile game business, and its rival Microsoft’s Xbox mobile game store is ready. Epic has also been eager to try. In fact, the day after the bill was passed, Epic announced through social media that its EGS and “Fortnite” will be available on the Japanese iOS market in the second half of 2025.

The main beneficiaries of the opening of third-party payment are Japanese payment providers, but considering that payment does not involve revenue sharing, it has little impact on the Japanese market, except for providing limited payment income to some Japanese banks and payment settlement companies. Moreover, whether it is the opening of third-party application stores or third-party payment, the benefits that application developers can actually get from it are relatively limited.

For example, under Apple’s new EU regulations, apps that use third-party app stores and third-party payment methods still have to pay Apple a core technology fee (CTF) of about 20%. Even if the 12% commission rate given by EGS is followed, developers still have to give up 32% of their revenue. Unless you use the Unreal Engine to develop games (which can waive the 5% licensing fee), there is no need to use a third-party store.

Of course, from a positive perspective, opening up third-party payment and third-party stores is an inevitable trend. As the bills in the European and Japanese markets are implemented, more markets may follow suit, such as the UK, South Korea, Canada, Australia, etc. It is worth noting the attitude of US regulators. After all the key market legislations, Game-Time believes that the Chinese market may also follow suit in terms of regulation.

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